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Interview with Richard McGraw, March 22, 2007 | UNCW Archives and Special Collections Online Database

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Interview with Richard McGraw, March 22, 2007
March 22, 2007
Dick McGraw grew up in the hills of West Virginia, entered the Air Force right after High School. Sent to Germany where he played football and was noticed by a visiting coach, and later offered a full scholarship at University of Washington, where he stayed for two years. By now married and a child on the way, re-entered the Air Force , and after getting a college degree became an officer assigned to Washington, DC, and the beginning of a highly diverse but interesting career in the corporate world and Executive Branch of government for nearly 35 years. He was recruited to administrative position with Searles Pharmaceuticals, joined HUD in administrative position with Sec. James Lynn, then Carla Hills, joinedCOMSAT (Communications Satellite Corp. as Senior VP, became Senior VP for Eastern Airlines, became Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Legislative Affairs), recalled by Sec. Donald Rumsfeld to Defense Dept. 2002 as Dep.Assistant Sec. Def. (Public Affairs), and in 2003/2004 asked to become a member of USAID special Reconstuction Group in Afghanistan, which he says is one of the most his interesting assignments. He and wife moved to Wilmington in 1991, renting their home here while taking short term assignments elsewhere. They have a married son, 2 grand daughters here. He was appointed to head the Convention Site Committe by former Mayor Davis Jones, was on the New Hanover Medical Center Foundation as Board member, learned to play and ultimately joined a bagpipe group (Port City Pipes and Drums), and at present is working with a group to possibly bringing USS Kitty Hawk to Wilmington. His interests are in education, and would like to get back on Hospital board. He was a professor of Communications at UNCW in early 1990's, and this is still of interest.
Phys. Desc:

Interviewee: McGraw, Richard Interviewer: Jones, Carroll / Malpass, Chris Date of Interview: 3/22/2007 Series: SENC Notables Length 1 hour 47 minutes

Jones: Today is March 22, 2007. I'm Carroll Jones with Chris Malpass for the Randal Library Special Collection Oral History Project. (audio break) Our guest this morning, Dick McGraw (audio break) very illustrious career in business in the Executive Branch of government, and although he and his wife moved to Landfall in the mid-1990s, Dick was asked to return to Washington at the request of Secretary Rumsfeld for a short period of time. He was also asked to head a convention center committee by former Wilmington Mayer David Jones, and has been an adjunct professor here at UNCW. Good morning, Dick.

McGraw: Good morning Carroll.

Jones: Let's start with something about your background, where you're originally from, education, early goals, and how they kind of transcended and what you finally did during the rest of your life.

McGraw: Born and raised in the coal mining area of West Virginia, Southern West Virginia on a small farm. My wife and I went to high school together. The last day of high school I enlisted in the Air Force, the very last day. I didn't go through graduation along with two friends, and spent four years in the Air Force including three years in Germany. During that time I played football overseas for the Air Force and the coach of West Virginia University came--

Jones: Where were you overseas?

McGraw: In Spangdahlem in Germany. It's in the Eifel Mountains. And the coach from West Virginia University came to do a coaches clinic in Germany. All the services then played football. And during the coaches clinic my coach said "You need to look at this guy," talking to me, and he did. And he said "When you get out, boy," he said "Come see me." He said "I'll give you a scholarship."

Jones: Now this is the coach from West Virginia?

McGraw: Uh-huh.

Jones: Where you were from?

McGraw: Right. So I got out in 1959 and went up to see Pappy Lewis who was coach. Took my dad. I was 22 years old, and Coach Lewis said "I can give you your room, board, books, tuition and $15 a month." And I'm 22 years old and thinking well maybe I can get a little bit more. And before I could say anything my dad said "He'll take it."

Jones: Good old dad.

McGraw: Yes, good old dad. Went for two years, played football for West Virginia, got married, my wife got pregnant, and $15 a month is not going to go very far, so I reenlisted in the Air Force, and was at Keesler Air Force Base in Mississippi going through a radar repair training course.

Jones: This is after how many years in college?

McGraw: Two years. Two years, yeah. Was down there and heard about a program in the Air Force where under which if you have 30 hours of college credit and they're acceptable and passable, the Air Force will send you to school to finish your degree, for which you incur a three-year obligation after you get your commission. So I applied and got accepted and they sent me to Washington State University. Knew nothing about Washington State University. I was majoring in journalism. Got my degree and went through Officer Training School in Texas.

Jones: Everybody goes to Texas.

McGraw: Everybody goes to Texas, that's right. I spent three years there and applied for a graduate program, and the Air Force sent me to Michigan State University for a graduate degree in Communications. And I thought well, if I'm going to stay in the Air Force because that incurred another three-year obligation, then I need to go to Vietnam. This is in 1968. Vietnam was hot and if your career military, you need to be where the action is. So I volunteered for Vietnam thinking I could use my master's degree in communications in Vietnam. Of course that's a farce, but anyway I spent a year there.

Jones: In Saigon?

McGraw: In Saigon. And during that time I met a couple of really terrific people who came--who were assigned back to the Pentagon before I was released from Vietnam, and they were instrumental in my coming back to the Pentagon, spent two years in the Pentagon from Vietnam. And my good friend, it turned out to be a mentor, Bill Greener, retired from the Air Force.

Jones: He's terrific.

McGraw: Uh-huh. I'm responsible for him moving here, as a matter of fact. Yes.

Jones: Were you responsible for his leaving?

McGraw: No, no. He decided he was old enough to go to a retirement home, and he has three kids in the Washington area and that's where he wanted to be. So he retired from the Air Force and went to work for the IRS and called me in about a couple weeks. I had 12 years in the Air Force active duty. And he said "Are you happy or do you want to leave?" And he offered me a GS13 position with the IRS in Philadelphia as a Regional Public Affairs Officer. Okay. I'm young. I can do whatever I want to do. So we did that. We went to Philadelphia for a couple of years, and working for the Internal Revenue Service was a terrific job.

Jones: Really?

McGraw: Terrific job. Especially doing public relations and people used to say to me--

Jones: I was going to say what specifically were you doing?

McGraw: People used to say to me "You must have the worst job in the world doing public relations for the Internal Revenue Service." And I said "No, not at all." Think about this. We have a voluntary tax system; a voluntary tax system works on fear. The fear is that if you don't pay your taxes, you're going to get caught. If you get caught, you mess with the bull you're going to get the horns. So you don't have to worry about creating a Mr. Nice Guy picture for the Internal Revenue Service. You don't want that as a matter of fact. That's not going to enhance tax collections. So people used to cringe when I'd give them my business card, but it was a lot of fun. It was--I had a lot of fun. It's no accident by the way that all the tax prosecutions occur January to April every year during the tax filing season. That is by design.

Jones: Do you want to share why?

McGraw: That is by design. That is when people are filling out their tax returns.

Jones: They're filling out their tax returns so how do you--

McGraw: That's and if while you're filling out your tax return, you read a story yesterday, today or tomorrow about someone being prosecuted for tax fraud or not filing, it may encourage one not to lie on one's tax return. Not to cheat.

Jones: So what you're saying is it's encouraging people to do right.

McGraw: To be honest. Spent two years in Philadelphia and Greener then moved to the Administration working for Don Rumsfeld who was then head of the Office of Economic Opportunity, and wage and price controls. This is doing the price freeze, wage freeze of 1970. And he worked then for the Department of Housing and Urban Development for Jim Lynn. And he called me and said "Would you like to take a political pointed position? Are you a Republican?" Yes, yes. Okay! So I moved to Washington and went to work for Jim Lynn. Stayed there until Linn went to OMB and Carla Hills came in as Secretary of HUD, who I must say is the very best boss I have ever had in my life anywhere, any time. She is just terrific. Someone asked me what's the difference between working for Jim Lynn on the one hand and Carla Hills on the other? And I told Fortune Magazine that I never told Jim Lynn that his slip was hanging, but I did tell Carla that her slip was hanging.

Jones: Wasn't he the one that would have cookies every afternoon, cookies and tea every afternoon?

McGraw: Yeah. Then Carter got elected and all of us political appointees were out. And Carla Hills and Chuck Percy and Senator Percy and Senator Hubert Humphrey were then trying to form a non-profit organization called The Alliance to Save Energy which purpose was to promote energy conservation. This is right in the midst of the 1977 oil crisis when cars were lined up at gas pumps. You could only get gas in your car on odd days or even days depending on what your license plate number was. And they asked me to help them organize it and run it as President which I did for two years. Spent two years begging money, knocking on doors, trying to get corporate support and all that sort of thing. And meanwhile Greener went to work for Rumsfeld again, over in G.D. Searle pharmaceutical firm in Chicago. Back up. When Rumsfeld took over as Secretary of Defense in 1975 Greener asked me to join him as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, and Carla countered with a better offer: Deputy Undersecretary of HUD for Field Operations, and I--

Jones: That was a pretty hot program at that time.

McGraw: It was. And I thanked Bill for the offer, and told him that Carla had made me a better offer so I stayed at HUD. Then when the Alliance petered out or I got tired of begging for money which is what it amounted to, Greener had gone to work for Searle and he offered me a job at G.D. Searle. So I moved into the pharmaceutical business. That's where I met Rumsfeld.

Jones: You were becoming a one-man band.

McGraw: Yeah, I guess. Between military and government and non-profits and now the corporate--

Jones: Taxes and corporate.

McGraw: Corporate, and I introduced Equal to the market place which is my claim to fame.

Jones: Really?

McGraw: I loved that product and loved the company, loved the company. And Eastern Airlines at that time was having troubles all sorts of troubles. And Frank Borman who was President and CEO was looking for a Senior VP for Public Affairs.

Jones: Did you know him?

McGraw: I did not know Frank at the time, and Rumsfeld was on their board and the headhunter who worked for both of them said well the headhunter couldn't ask me. But I heard about the vacancy so I wrote Frank a letter, Frank Borman a letter saying "I hear you're looking. I might be interested." So Frank called me down to Miami and interviewed me and offered me the job. And having been offered the job, then I couldn't decide what to do because I had a good future for me ahead of me at Searle, I was told that, but Rumsfeld and others, in fact I spent 30 minutes talking to Rumsfeld about whether I should take the job at Eastern or not. He told me one thing that made me trigger to take the job, and that was "I know all the people on the board," he said. "I know all their senior staff."

Jones: This is Rumsfeld--

McGraw: Rumsfeld talking to me. And he said "There's an outside chance, it's an outside chance, but you could wind up running the company." So what would you do?

Jones: That's a toughie.

McGraw: No, it wasn't a toughie. It was not a toughie for me. If there's an outside chance--

Jones: Did you know that much about the company that you could--

McGraw: Zip. I knew zip about the company other than the fact that they were having problems. I didn't know what the nature of the problems were. I knew they had--I knew the machinists' union and the pilots' union had threatened a strike recently, and that they were having labor difficulties. But this was before deregulation of the airlines. Or right on the heels of deregulation of the airlines what happened in 77, and this is 1982. Deregulation of the airlines was just beginning to take place. So anyway I took the job in Miami and Borman said "I've got a problem. I need you to help me fix the problem." So it took me six months to figure out what the problem was. And the problem was Frank Borman.

Jones: Oh boy.

McGraw: And I have told him this so I'm not telling you anything or putting anything on tape that I haven't told Frank Borman. What happened was the Machinists Union threatened to strike. And Frank said go ahead and strike, and he talked to the pilots, he talked to the flight attendants, and he talked to the non-contract employees and he said "The machinists union wants to strike. Let them strike. We will fly through their strike. The heck with them." This is what he told the pilots, the flight attendants, and the non-contract people. Well it got down to two days before--and meanwhile, the pilots had been negotiating a contract as well, and they said "Okay, Frank. You're a pilot. We're pilots. We understand what you're trying to do. We'll back you against the machinists, even though they're brothers in the labor movement, we will back you." Two days before the machinists were to strike Frank caved to the machinists' contract demands. He caved to their demands, which upset the pilots tremendously because they had given up their demands. Decided not to negotiate further, not to strike, and upset the flight attendants. So Borman had an instant credibility problem with everybody, everybody. And he said when he hired me not knowing all of this, he said "Dick, I've got a communications problem. I need you to help me fix it." Well when I discovered that he was the problem--

Jones: Did you know all--you did not--

McGraw: I didn't know all this until I'd been there six months and did my own research and talked to people about what happened that he had a credibility problem. He had a severe credibility problem with all the employees. And he was a very paternalistic kind of manager. It felt like everybody in the airline, all 50,000 of us were his family, he and his wife, both. Wonderful people, but not a good manager. Not a good manager. If you ever read the book The One Minute Manager where several examples where a person can take a problem into the boss' desk and flop the problem on the boss' desk and he'll handle it for you, you can drop the monkey on the boss' desk and he'll handle the problem. Well that was Frank. You needed an airplane deadheaded from Los Angeles to Miami?

Jones: He was a father figure.

McGraw: He was a father figure and he was a do-it-all-himself. He could fly any airplane, he could fix any engine, he could fix any personnel problem, he could fire anybody or hire anybody. And if you had anything you wanted fixed, let Frank know. Frank could fix it for you and that was his problem. He didn't know how to delegate. He took everything unto himself including the labor negotiations. Had he let his labor people do it, we would not have had that problem. Anyway, I'm straying. I did that for it took me six months to find the problem. Six months to figure out that I was not going to be able to fix it. When I told Frank he said "Fine, let's fix it. Help me fix it." But he couldn't. He was--

Jones: You told him what it was.

McGraw: I did.

Jones: How did he take it?

McGraw: Well, very well. He recognized okay, I can see where that could have happened. I can see where I have a credibility problem. Help me fix it. And I tried for six months and it was like trying to change his personality. It wasn't going to happen. It just wasn't going to happen. So I told Frank I said "Frank, I'm butting my head against the wall here. I'm just beating my head against a brick wall. I can't fix your problem. I've got to leave. I've got to find something else that gives me some satisfaction." He said "Fine." He started looking for someone the next day.

Jones: What?

McGraw: Oh yes.

Jones: That's a vote of confidence.

McGraw: Well he had to.

Jones: I guess.

McGraw: I don't blame him for that. Fortunately I found something the same time he found somebody. Worked out that way because I had no--

Jones: You were both fortunate.

McGraw: Yeah, very fortunate, because I had no parachute. I had nothing. But it turns out that one of the people on the board was Mel Laird who was former Secretary of Defense. Rumsfeld had left the board because he was then appointed Special Envoy to the Middle East in 1983 so he had left Eastern's board and several other boards.

Jones: Now this time, this is about what, 1980-something?

McGraw: 1983 when I went to Eastern. 1985 when I left.

Jones: Okay, so at this point you and Rumsfeld had worked together evidently on a couple of short periods.

McGraw: Well I had been--he had been my CEO for the five years that I was at G.E. Searle.

Jones: You were there for five.

McGraw: I was there for five years, and got to know him reasonably well. I traveled with him, went to Japan on a couple of trips with him.

Jones: I think you would be knowing him fairly.

McGraw: Yeah, I got to know him pretty well.

Jones: I just wanted to for the record.

McGraw: Sure. Mel Laird, of course, former Secretary of Defense as well was on the board of a company called The Communications Satellite Corporation, COMSAT which was formed by Congress but as a private corporation without tax support, but as a congressionally chartered corporation. Right after President Kennedy announced that we'll put a man on the moon by the end of the decade in the late '60s. So COMSAT was formed I think in 1966 and Mel had been on the board as a presidential appointee for a long time. And Mel knew that this company, as a matter of fact, the same head hunter that had placed me--hadn't placed me but had tried to place me at Eastern had to search for this Senior of Public Affairs, Senior VP for Corporate Affairs at COMSAT in Washington.

Jones: Was your headquarters in Maryland?

McGraw: No, the headquarters was downtown L'Enfant Plaza .They had a big research facility out in Maryland, out in--

Jones: Gaithersburg

McGraw: Gaithersburg, thank you yes. In Gaithersburg. That was the R and D facility. Anyway they offered me the job at COMSAT and I moved to COMSAT in 1985.

Jones: This is in public relations again.

McGraw: Uh-hum. Senior VP and this is public relations, government relations, investor relations, and employee communications. It was the total. So now it's the pharmaceutical industry, airline industry and telecom industry. And I spent five years there, and we had a change in CEOs. One CEO retired, a new CEO came in. And oh, wait a minute. I've got to go back. When I left Eastern the Senior VP for Planning which is the guy that sets all the pricing and determines the routes that we fly, the Senior VP for Marketing, which does all the marketing, and I, the Senior VP for Corporate Affairs all left Eastern within two weeks and none of us knew the other two was leaving.

Jones: I knew there was a long haul there where they were just--I knew two of the senior pilots.

McGraw: Did you?

Jones: Yeah, and I was doing a lot of traveling at the time, and couldn't trust Eastern. Of course they would bump you. They'd overbook and bump you, but you know, but they were there. They were in Washington.

McGraw: The airline industry was a lot of fun. I loved the industry.

Jones: Did you really?

McGraw: I loved the industry. It's not a complex industry. It's fairly simple. It's capital intensive but when airline deregulation was put in place in 1977 and airlines like People's Express, Newark Air, and all those others came in I mean they--that's right. Ray Sell Furguson's [ph?] stormed doors and airlines, they could sell tickets for less than we could print them for.

Jones: I know.

McGraw: Because they didn't have the unions that we had.

Jones: But their planes were also put together with chewing gum.

McGraw: Ostensibly they were maintained to the same standard that the FA requires for all airlines, but the airlines still today, the reason the airlines, the legacy airlines are having so much trouble, they still, the labor unions still operate under the 1927 Railway Labor Act.

Jones: Really?

McGraw: Yes. It's absurd.

Jones: Our son-in-law is a Senior Engineer with American Airlines, and he moves more than (laughs).

McGraw: It's absurd. It's absurd that the CAB, Civil Aeronautics Board-

Jones: He's not union and he has union people define what he's supposed to say.

McGraw: Yes.

Jones: And Dallas which is the corporate headquarters says well threaten them. He says, "They'll come after me."

McGraw: Yeah, oh, they came after Frank with guns. There are bullet holes in Franks' pickup truck. Frank Borman's pickup truck. That's all right.

Jones: It's a fascinating industry. I mean we're all beholden to it, though.

McGraw: Very much so. But the fact that the CAB would deregulate the business part of the airline and not deregulate the labor part of the airline, set up a dichotomy that was never going to work. It is not working. I mean Delta, United, American, Northwest, they're all having and have had financial difficulty for 30 years. Since the business was deregulated and the labor unions were left in place on the 1927 Railway Labor Act. Terrible problem. Anyway, five years of Communication Satellite Corporation.

Jones: How was that? Did you like that?

McGraw: Fascinating. Whole new technology to me that I didn't--I had no knowledge of. COMSAT's problem was, and I shouldn't say COMSAT's "problem" but it was a problem. Chartered by Congress, limited by Congress in what it could do, it was provide international telecom traffic via satellite. That was its charter. That charter grew to allow television because international television became big. We could do nothing domestic. Nothing in the United States, and this was before fiber optic cable. So there was no competition because there were cables underneath the sea but they were not fiber optic and they could not handle television. They could only handle so many phone calls. The capacity of copper cable under the sea was very limited. Satellites had a much higher capacity so we could handle a lot of traffic.

Jones: Weren't they, aren't they also responsible for communications to people going out of space? Out? Yeah.

McGraw: Yes, before NASA began to launch its own satellites, its own communications satellites, and the military launched its own communications satellites and now every country, Tonga, the country of Tonga, South Pacific Islands got its own satellite got its own satellite called TONGASAT. I mean it becomes a national pride issue for small countries to launch their own satellite and be part of the Internet satellite system. Not "Internet".

Jones: The people who worked for this company or these companies must have infinite patience or love for the job. My nephew is married to a gal who works for COMSAT and every time I see Kathy I say "What are you trying now?" "Working on a battery." For the longest time I thought battery you put on a flashlight. She's working on these batteries that do what you're talking about.

McGraw: Last for a long time and are as big as your pinky nail. Yeah. Fascinating business. To think that it took 40 years from the time someone had the idea. In fact it was the British writer who wrote 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Jones: I don't remember.

McGraw: I can't think of his name. He now lives in Ceylon or Sri Lanka. What used to be called Ceylon? He published it in a magazine in 1941 the theory that if you consider the earth as a globe, and he figured that if you put three satellites strategically around the earth at an altitude of 22,500 miles, they would be in a geosynchronous orbit, which is to say they will appear to be stationary. They will rotate around the earth at the same rate of speed that the earth rotates, because the gravitational pull of the moon and the sun and the earth will balance, and they will stay there. They will wobble north and south but they will stay where they are east and west. And if you have three you can cover the whole globe with three satellites. That was the theory. And nobody said--everybody said, "It won't work."

Jones: Explain once again for people like myself and anybody else who's watching this eventually, the government, about the government in concept. This was initiated by the government to begin with.

McGraw: Yes.

Jones: And about when was that?

McGraw: That was in when was President Kennedy's speech about putting a man on the moon by the end of the decade, 1963? And Congress chartered COMSAT I think in 1964, 1963 or 1964.

Jones: Where are we now--how much the government involvement was there.

McGraw: It doesn't exist.

Jones: When did that happen?

McGraw: That happened right after it was chartered by Congress. The Congress charter allowed for there to be public investors, allowed for there to be 12 members of the board, three of which were appointed by the Congress--or by the President. And by 1966 it was in place and before the when was the first satellite launched? Sometime around 1970. The first communication satellite was launched geosynchronous orbit, and an organization called Intelsat was formed which had as its members, the COMSATS of many other countries. And they traded time. You could go up on a satellite but you had to go down somewhere else. So you had to have an entity on the other end to take the signal and process it and vice versa.

Jones: You were there when?

McGraw: I was there from 1985 until 1991.

Jones: That was a good long time.

McGraw: Yes, it was my longest time at any place I think. It was, yes. As I was about to say earlier, its charter was limited by the Congress. And meanwhile fiber optic cable was coming in, and ATandT and other carriers had launched their own communications satellites, so we were getting competition which we did not have when we started. We were a monopoly, a congressionally chartered monopoly. We had monopoly business of telephone traffic. Nobody else could carry telephone traffic except COMSAT. Telephone traffic was a good revenue generator, but TV was a bigger revenue generator, international television. So we lobbied and COMSAT tried to decide what other kind of businesses do we ought to be in? Well we couldn't do domestic telephones, so we said let's go and do domestic movies. So we contracted with Holiday Inn to put television--to put movies and Holiday Inns fed by satellite. Then we bought the Denver Nuggets, the basketball team. Then we had a consumer--we did all sorts of what I think were silly things, trying to maintain a monopoly on the one hand, and trying to compete in a separate industry on the other hand. It was like white man speak with forked tongue, to go back to the 1800s and Indians. We didn't know what we wanted to be, and we couldn't decide and we were trying to satisfy the congress by keeping a monopoly on one hand and not tick them off on that hand, and try to get them the stuff that they didn't mind us getting into on the other hand. And we couldn't do it because the people that we were competing against over here would say, "Wait a minute. You got a monopoly over here. You can't get into this business." And so we'd defend the monopoly on one hand, and defend competition on the other hand. And it became for a PR man, a nightmare. Because you couldn't justify monopoly/competition in the same sentence. Finally the competition won out. We kept a small part of the monopoly business, and right after I retired they sold the business to Martin Marietta which became Lockheed Martin.

Now the International Charter Communications piece is a small piece of their business but that's the only piece that has survived. The rest of it has gone. Intelsat still exists, but Lockheed Martin is obviously a much larger company. I retired because the CEO had again had a change in CEOs and the Senior VP, the Chief Financial Officer, the Senior VP for Legal Affairs, the General Council and I were all replaced by the CEO who wanted his own team which is perfectly find. I mean that happens all the time. I had five years with the company. I was 55 years old, and was able to retire. But so I moved to Wilmington.

Jones: How did you happen to move to Wilmington? Were you living at that time in, well you were living in the metropolitan weren't you?

McGraw: We were living in Bethesda. The retirement caught us by surprise. We weren't expecting this to happen, so we took a year in deciding where we wanted to go and we grew up in West Virginia. We still had family there so we didn't want to be too far from that. We didn't want to be--we had had it with snow and ice and driving in snow. I mean I grew up learning to drive on snow and ice in the mountains of West Virginia and it doesn't bother me but you know, you get older, you get colder.

Jones: Unless they've driven in the Washington D.C. area in snow.

McGraw: No fun.

Jones: With all those drivers from everywhere where the rules don't mean a thing.

McGraw: No. you abandon your car in the middle of the Interstate.

Jones: I was just going to say. Yeah, that's exactly it. And hope that three days later the snow plow hasn't covered it.

McGraw: Right, or hit it, right. So we looked at the Carolinas. We looked at North and South. We looked at Charleston. We looked at Chapel Hill, the Raleigh Durham area. We looked at Tennessee, looked at Florida, looked at Georgia, and liked what we saw in Wilmington best.

Jones: Did you?

McGraw: Yes.

Jones: You didn't know anybody here?

McGraw: Didn't know a soul here, didn't know a soul. But we liked the location. We liked the fact that the University is here.

Jones: This is 1991?

McGraw: This is 1991.

Jones: So I-40 had just opened.

McGraw: Yeah.

Jones: Not too long before.

McGraw: We liked Chapel Hill but we like the beach. We like Charleston, but if you're on the wrong side of Broad Street in Charleston, you're not from here.

Jones: Then you have to live in Mount Pleasant.

McGraw: Yeah, exactly, yeah. We liked Savannah, we loved Miami. Two years we lived in Miami with Eastern, loved Miami, but it's so far. It's a two-day drive out of Florida if you live in Miami.

Jones: You have to learn to speak good Spanish.

McGraw: I didn't mind that. The Cuban people are fantastic. We really enjoyed South Florida. Loved South--the only thing I couldn't get used to in South Florida--

Jones: Did you like the weather?

McGraw: Loved the weather.

Jones: Did you?

McGraw: Loved the weather. I just couldn't get used to Santa Claus in shorts. First time I saw that, "What?" I mean it doesn't compute. That's a non sequitur, a visual non sequitur: Santa Claus in shorts. So anyway this is we liked this best. We like the beach. We like the community. We like the University. Like the people. We just love it here. Still do.

Jones: That's interesting. I love hearing why people who have had no connection with this place come here. I am personally convinced that all of Long Island has moved down here.

McGraw: And Northern Jersey as well.

Jones: And I think Northern Jersey and actually Ohio had done its share too. And I heard so many people say "Well, we just got in the car. We called AAA, they gave us a book, and we drove down the whole coast and stopping different places. And we stopped in Wilmington and we saw some houses going up. And went home and had our neighbors over. And everybody on the block bought a house down here. We didn't come down not knowing anybody."

McGraw: I was kind of partial to Chapel Hill and I had never been to Wilmington but my wife and her sister came down from Chapel Hill. We spent a month in Chapel Hill just living there, rented a place, just looking around, getting a feel for the place. And my wife and her sister drove down here and she said "Honey, you got to come see Wilmington." I said "No, it's just a beach town." She said "You got to come see Wilmington."

Jones: And that's before a lot of things happened. About the time things were really beginning to--

McGraw: Landfall was being developed. It was started in the mid-'80s.

Jones: We remember well.

McGraw: I remember driving down Eastwood toward the beach with my realtor and this big white wall along the north side of Eastwood, and I said "What's that?" She looked at me and said "That's where we keep our Yankees." So helped me it happened. "That's where we keep our Yankees."

Jones: They used to refer to it here when that was being developed by a group of people that my husband who was from here originally knew. And they all decided to buy lots just in case, and they jokingly referred to it which some people still do, "Landfill." But it's a nice place.

McGraw: Yeah, it is. We enjoy living there. We think about moving out. We bought a couple lots on the creek and thinking about building a house but no. It was her idea but she says "Every time I come back here, this is perfect. I like it right here."

Jones: So you just, it was your wife and her sister that said "Go to Wilmington." You came to Wilmington.

McGraw: Came here in November of '91 and spent a month over on the beach at Shell Island. And then came back, decided this is where we wanted to be, so we came back in January and bought a house and stayed on the beach at--

Jones: Were you kind of homeless at this point that you were a month here and a month there and a month--

McGraw: Not quite. We had sold the house in Bethesda but we had rented another place. In fact we had stayed in a house that was on the market, and the people wanted it occupied so it would sell so it was a good deal for all of us. We stayed on the beach for five months until the house was finished then moved in.

Jones: And of course around here just for the heck of it, when people say "the beach" they mean Wrightsville.

McGraw: Yes. Yes. Yeah, we love Wrightsville Beach. I mean it's a family beach.

Jones: It is. Always has been. So that's how you got to Wilmington, then what happened?

McGraw: I thought boy I could play golf every day all day, but it's amazing how quickly that gets boring. Just amazing.

Jones: I'm glad to hear you say that.

McGraw: So I began to look for something to do and my first thought was the University has a communications department. They teach PR. Gee, maybe I could share something over the last 20 years, 20 or 30 years of working. So I came over here and sure enough they said "Yes, we'd love to have you teach a 400-level course in PR." Which I did for I think four semesters over a two-year period. Yeah, four semesters. Got involved in-

Jones: Now at that time the University was probably what, about 7,000 or 8,000 population?

McGraw: Eight thousand students, uh-huh, yeah. And it was fun. For the most part I enjoyed it. For the most part.

Jones: Was Leutze--he had just become? Okay.

McGraw: Yes, Leutze was Chancellor. Another story about him later.

Jones: That's all right. There's lots of them.

McGraw: Yeah. Got involved in probably the biggest thing was the developer of Landfall owns the club. They own the property and they own the club. And the members of the club wanted to buy the club from the developer. And the members asked me to head up the effort to do that.

Jones: Now the developer was?

McGraw: Landfall Associates at that time, which was a combination of Weyerhaeuser, Kenan family, and well those are the two big ones, anyway.

Jones: And some individuals.

McGraw: And some individuals, right. And they asked me to head up a team to buy the club from the developer and in that process I met a whole lot of people including George Roundtree.

Jones: That's one of my husband's weekly lunch pals.

McGraw: Is that right?

Jones: There's a group, they meet every week they can. And they call themselves the Forest Hills Bad Boys. They all grew up together.

McGraw: Okay. Yeah. And George and old Doctor Burt Williams. The Senior Burt Williams. Were just forming--

Jones: He's a nice guy.

McGraw: Very nice guy. And George's wife Sylvia were all on the board of then the new Hanover Medical Center Foundation, newly formed Foundation and they asked me to go on that board. They invited me to the Saltworks to have lunch, breakfast at Saltworks, 7:00 and Si--Seymour, forgot his last name. Anyway, they invited me to sit on the board of the-

Jones: Alper?

McGraw: Si Alper, that's right, to sit on the board of the Medical Center Foundation which I did. And I was on that board for three years and got involved in local politics and helped a couple people run for--

Jones: What did you do when you got involved in you say "local politics"?

McGraw: I managed one losing campaign for a State House, and participated in fundraising on a couple of other local campaigns for City Council and County Commission.

Jones: Did they win?

McGraw: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. And during that I ran into David Jones who was then Mayor and he asked me to help out with the convention center. So we had--

Jones: In what capacity?

McGraw: He had a group of people and we got together as a group, and who did he appoint as Chairman of the group? Brother, everybody calls him Brother and I can't think of his name. He's a financial advisor here in town. Oh gee whiz.

Jones: Bob?

McGraw: No, not Bob.

Jones: Mark?

McGraw: No, not, no. But he was on the board, Bob was on the board from McGreggory-Pullen.

Jones: He's a financial advisor?

McGraw: Yeah. Anyway it doesn't matter. His name has just slipped my mind, but anyway we were at the table as to who had what kind of background and expertise, and mine is as much financial as anything else, so I said I'd like to be on the Site Selection and Finance Committee. So said, "Why don't you Chair the Site Selection Committee as well as serving on finance." So I did. I chaired the Site Selection Committee.

Jones: So you really had a time then.

McGraw: Yeah, the site that has been selected was the one that we recommended in 1999, 1998, 1999, 2000 I guess? It was the only logical site. It was right between Almont and Chamber of Commerce. And Almont. We wanted to buy--we wanted Almont's property. And I met with the Almont people many times along with Bob.

Jones: Was Estelle Lee on that committee?

McGraw: Estelle Lee was not on that committee. No. I don't know why Estelle wasn't on that Committee.

Jones: Anyway.

McGraw: Yeah, so I did that and was really having a good time, you know, been involved in a lot of stuff. In the meantime I had gotten appointed to the Hospital Board of Trustees.

Jones: When was that?

McGraw: That was in 2000.

Jones: You were there in 2000?

McGraw: October of 2000 I got appointed to the Hospital Board of Trustees.

Jones: Yeah, that was an old group that was there.

McGraw: And I had only been on the Hospital Board of Trustees for three months and Rumsfeld, George W. got elected and Rumsfeld got appointed as the Secretary of Defense for the second time, having first served in 1975 to 1977.

Jones: Now this was when, 2000?

McGraw: 2000. The election was 2000. He got appointed in January like 23 of 2001, the day after the inauguration.

Jones: And then he called you?

McGraw: No, I sent him an email. I said "Look, I'm retired living in the South, having a good time. I'm involved in a lot of things. I'm not looking for work but if you need help, I'll be happy to help out." And he sent me an email and said "Get your butt up here."

Jones: So did you commute?

McGraw: No. I had to be approved by the White House. It was not a Senate Confirmation position that he wanted me for so I did not have to be confirmed by the Senate.

Jones: Were you a deputy?

McGraw: Yeah, Principal Deputy. The same job that Bill Greener had offered me 25 years before. The same job.

Jones: You're a little late getting there.

McGraw: The same job as 25 years before. So I went in thinking okay, I'll come up. I'll spend a year.

Jones: So this was 2001?

McGraw: I went up in July 9, 2001. Yeah, it took from April to July to get it cleared. I went up in July 2001. Boy we were doing a lot of good things.

Jones: That was a tough time.

McGraw: It was. A very tough time for the Department of Defense notwithstanding the war and Afghanistan and the attack on the World Trade Center, because the Department of Defense was still organized for a cold war scenario. When the Berlin Wall fell in 1990, the decade of the 1990s nothing happened in the Department of Defense except that the budget went down. The Administration and it may have happened in any Administration whether it was Democrat or Republican, I don't think it mattered. But with the Cold War gone, with the Soviet Union collapsed, with the Warsaw pact dissolved.

Jones: Everybody felt good.

McGraw: What's the need for there to be a NATO? What's the need for a National Defense with weapons of mass destruction? And the defense budget declined. In real terms as well as in inflated terms, it absolutely declined significantly and morale went down in the Department of Defense, and nothing was done in terms of okay, we don't have a Cold War anymore. We don't have a Soviet Union threat anymore. Russian-- China is not a threat, yet, and may not be. North Korea-

Jones: You think China has always been a threat?

McGraw: Not as much as a threat as it was pre-Nixon and Kissinger kind of dissolved the threat.

Jones: That's one thing he moved, absolutely.

McGraw: Opened up trade. The threat is always there. It's still a Communist country. But they don't show Imperialist tactics I mean other than wanting to take over Formosa again, and they got Hong Kong. They don't show signs of trying to take over the world like the Muslims are.

Jones: The Chinese don't.

McGraw: No, they just don't. But anyway, DOD had gotten in a terrible situation of not being ready for anything. The equipment was gone, material was down. Number of troops was down. They weren't prepared for anything. So Rumsfeld's task when he came in he said "Look, we've got to turn this 3,000,000 behemoth around from something that was dedicated to the Cold War, to something that is more appropriate for the 21st century.

Jones: Can I stop you here and ask you a question?

McGraw: Sure.

Jones: You're fond of Rumsfeld?

McGraw: Yes.

Jones: I know a lot of people who are. He strikes some people, of course, no point in going there. Others think he's so dedicated that he doesn't care what people think of him. There's a job to be done so he's going to go ahead and do it. You're beginning to talk about which is interesting, I want to hear it. After let's say 2001, what needed to be done, what had to be done you just explained working up to that the laissez-faire conditions. So as you do go on talking about this, make it clear for us that these are things that had been ignored and needed to be done.

McGraw: The day before the attack on the Pentagon, September 10th, 2001, Rumsfeld had a breakfast with several members of Congress in his office. We were about to launch a program of cost savings within DOD and had just launched a program called "Transformation." Let's--we need to transform the Department of Defense from a 20th century dinosaur to a 21st century ready for what he called "Asymmetric warfare." He said "We will never again be standing toe-to-toe, army-against-army, navy-against-navy, air force-against-air force. The world was past that. We don't need that kind of force structure anymore. We need to revise our force structure." He said at this breakfast meeting "We don't know where the next attack will come from. We don't know where they will attack us."

Jones: And this was September the 10th?

McGraw: September the 10th. "But trust me," he said. "They will attack us, as they did the World Trade Center five years before that, as they did Cobar Towers, as they did the Cole, USS Cole, as they have in numerous places around the world, small groups of terrorists." And he said "We are not ready for terrorist warfare. We are configured, structured, organized and equipped for major warfare, a World War II and Korea and Vietnam style. We are not equipped, organized or structured, or equipped for terrorist warfare." And he said--

Jones: That's how we stopped building ships and stopped building anything else.

McGraw: "That's why we need to transform ourselves from what we are to what we need to become." The very next day, it was almost prophetic, almost prophetic. And people said how could that have happened? How could we be attacked internally with civilian airplanes? Our entire defense structure was faced outward. The 20th century had us facing the enemies outside of the United States.

Jones: Who was it said "The enemies within"?

McGraw: I don't remember. But everything I mean from the dewline across Canada to across Mexico to the Pacific Islands and European islands or Atlantic islands, facing a threat from outside. No one conceived of a terrorist hijacking an airplane and using it as a bomb, as a weapon to destroy people and buildings in America. It just wasn't--nothing--nobody had ever thought of that. It was called Asymmetric and that's why he called--I mean Rumsfeld conceived that this could happen. Not this specifically, but he said "We don't know what's coming, but it is not going to be the symmetry that we know of warfare. It's going to be asymmetrical. So from 9/11 on he had two tasks: one is to fight the terrorists, and one is to continue the transformation of the Department of Defense. It was almost like he could have said, he didn't say "I told you so. I told you it was going to come from someplace we didn't expect." He did not do that.

Jones: What a huge task.

McGraw: Yes, to do both. To fight--

Jones: You're dealing with professionals who have gone through the boat school on the Hudson and so forth and you are geared one way and you have to change your thinking.

McGraw: Totally. Totally thinking.

Jones: And change the thinking of the American public.

McGraw: Total, total. And for the first what six months or so, boy I mean Rumsfeld was the darling of the media because he took no baloney from the press. You were right when you said that his motivation is to do the right thing. He cares less about what people say and think about him. He is the consummate, consummate public servant.

Jones: Did the President rely upon his strength?

McGraw: He did. He did. But he also recognized that if he becomes a focal point and becomes a torch then he is not doing the President any great favors of any service, so in that case he says to the President "Any time you want me to leave, you know, I don't want to hurt the Administration. I don't want to hurt what you're trying to do and if I'm better for you out of here, then I'll be out of here." I'm paraphrasing. He didn't use those words.

Jones: I understand.

McGraw: Dedicated public servant here.

Jones: I don't want to get into partisan politics here, but it is a matter that concerns everybody in this country and where we are now. How long were you there in that particular job? A year?

McGraw: I was there in that particular job. I was there--I went for a year and I stayed for four years.

Jones: You stayed for four. Again, did you commute back and forth?

McGraw: No we moved three times in Washington. What happened I stayed a year. We rented a condo, we should have bought because after a year the guy that we rented from sold it for a huge profit. This was when the real estate industry, the real estate market in Washington was just--whoosh.

Jones: Now this was in Washington, you're talking about?

McGraw: We kept our house here, and the real estate market in Washington went through the roof and he sold his condo and we had to move. And after--

Jones: That's the real estate up there. We moved in 97.

McGraw: That's right. I spent a year in public affairs and then I the Legislative Affairs Department was void for a Deputy. I was asked to go to Legislative Affairs as the Principle Deputy there which I did for seven months. Then Rumsfeld was going to host a NATO meeting. Once a year the NATO Defense Ministers and NATO Ambassadors, and NATO Military Chiefs from all the NATO countries get together for what they call "an informal session." It's informal only in the sense that there are no votes taken. And they asked me to organize--it was going to held in the United States, and they asked me to organize, prepare for, and run this meeting which was a nine-month job, none-month job. Couldn't believe it. I thought gee, this is a piece of cake until I got my feet into it, because I happened to think all right, what do we want to do here? NATO is out of a job. The Warsaw Pact is gone, but NATO suffered from the same thing that the US Department of Defense does. It hasn't transformed itself either. It's still facing or thinks it needs to face a threat from the East. So I said "Why don't we since we're hosting this meeting, show NATO Ambassadors and the NATO Defense Ministers that they need to transform themselves as well? They need to transform themselves to face an asymmetric warfare situation just as we, the Department of Defense does in the United States?" And Rumsfeld said "Okay." Kind of "Okay." Went to NATO And briefed the Secretary General of NATO and he said "Okay, but you need to do it in such a way that the NATO Ambassadors and NATO Defense Ministers do not feel threatened. That they do not feel that any substance is taken away from their prerogative. They don't have decision making authority. Whenever NATO meets they can't make any decisions. They've got to go back to their home capitals before decisions can be made." I said "What I want to do is subject them to a real-life situation where they're forced to make instant decisions." He said "Oh, we can't do that." I said "Well let's do it in such a way that nobody feels as though that they're trapped. That they have to do something that they can't." Said "We'll try to do that." So we wrote a script. NATO built a place out in Colorado, Colorado Springs where they would come co the meeting at the Broadmoor. Took over the whole Broadmoor for a week. Built a huge faculty, brought them in and for one whole day subjected them to a terrorist attack, electronically. They were in a meeting. They were interrupted in the meeting that there was a ship in the Mediterranean that's bearing on a fictitious country with fictitious weapons and they had to decide instantly what to do. It was a mock warfare for a day. It turned out to be hugely successful and in fact Secretary General told Rumsfeld "This is the very best NATO meeting we have ever had." It was just huge.

Jones: Was this ever publicized?

McGraw: No.

Jones: Of course not.

McGraw: No.

Jones: Dick we have about four minutes left on this tape. I still have a few questions to ask if you're game.

McGraw: Sure.

Jones: Maybe we can have Chris change tapes?

McGraw: That would be fun.

Jones: Come back and we got a fresh new tape.

McGraw: Okay, sure.

Jones: And just a few--very interesting, very interesting.

McGraw: Good.

Jones: Of course I can relate to it because-

McGraw: You were there for a lot of it.

Jones: Twenty-eight years. And I grew up in a family that was sort of involved--

(Tape Change)

Jones: Pick up on a second tape talking with Dick McGraw about his experiences in Washington. And living here in Wilmington and then, going back to Washington. So what happened that brought you back here? And before we leave the Washington scene, just your opinion, and I just said I don't want to get into pros and politics. Because that's not what we're here for. It's you've seen everything from the inside. And in today's world, I think it must be very, very difficult for anybody to get along in that huge behemoth that's called the government. Just your own opinion, do you think there's ever going to be a time when we really downsize government so that we can become more combat? That people will have a direction, the American people will understand why it's there and where we're going?

McGraw: I doubt it. It has never happened. I don't think the government has ever shrunk from one year to the next, or one administration to the next.

Jones: Do you think they can't or is just not anymore?

McGraw: I don't think they can. I don't think they can. Programs get started. And once a program gets started, it's virtually impossible to kill it. And it just breeds itself, because people get in jobs. And in order to kill a program, people have to leave their job or find a job somewhere else. And that doesn't shrink anything. So, no. I just don't see government shrinking. It's unfortunate, because it has gotten too big. Yeah, in my opinion, it's not what the Founding Fathers had in mind. The Founding Fathers, I think, had in mind very much like a state legislature, part time congress.

Jones: Yeah, evidently. They chose people who had land and therefore, means to do this.

McGraw: No. I don't see it shrinking. And the ugliness--

Jones: Is there too much partisanship in government?

McGraw: Pardon me?

Jones: Is there too much partisanship in government? Let me rephrase that. People, out of necessity, they're picked from corporations and businesses and banking and so forth, to be part of an administration. They should be. They're used to having responsibilities. They're not used to delegating authority. So you can't just take anybody off the farm to do that. And do you think, in a way, that this is running counter to a lot of our elected officials, who some of them have never had any responsibility in that way? They come from, let's say, a city council in a small town. And so they decide they want to be a congressman or a senator. And all of a sudden, they're thrust into a situation where there's an awful lot ahead for them to absorb and learn and do. We've got, what, 100 senators and 500 and something congressmen.

McGraw: I don't think that congress is too partisan. And I don't think it's becoming too partisan. What I think is happening is, I think, the lobbying end, which was never conceived of in the beginning. But the lobbying has become so strong that the people that you identified that maybe come from small towns or from a city council, coming to Washington, I don't want to say void. But not with--they don't come with a whole wealth of knowledge of world affairs or world politics or wealth. And they are besieged by people with points of view and who contributed to their campaign. And so they're obligated to listen, at least. They're not obligated to vote the way they want their lobbyists to vote. But they're obligated to listen. And they get it from all sides, and they're ill equipped to deal with it. The problem, I think, is the extremists on both sides. But I think you have to have--we are a two-party system. Thankfully, we are a two-party system. It'd be bad if we were just a single party. I think that would be awful. Because you have to have differing views, in order to reach a consensus.

Jones: I hope so.

McGraw: Otherwise, you've got an anarchy.

Jones: Absolutely.

McGraw: So you've got to have differing views. But I think it's the extremists on both sides who are, I won't say getting out of hand, but they're getting very loud and very wild. However, as I say that I read history, and I read about times in the House, when members of the congress attacked each other with their canes, physically. You know, we haven't seen fist cuffs on the House . . .

Jones: Not yet.

McGraw: . . . for a long time. But that has happened in the 19th Century. So, maybe, we're not as bad as we think we are. But there are 435 members of the House and 100 members of the Senate. So we've got 535, plus, you got thousands of staff that you didn't have even 20 years ago. And many more lobbyists and much more money. And I just hate to see the poor--

Jones: You're from West Virginia. Years and years ago, there used to be a joke about the typical government girl, came from West Virginia, and she didn't go to college; Is that right?

McGraw: That's right. Yeah, oh, in fact, from my high school, I mean, I can't tell you how many girls who were hired by the CIA and the FBI as clerk typists. I mean, it was a job to get out of the coal fields. The guys went to Detroit to work on the automobile factories. And the girls went to Washington to work as clerk typists.

Jones: Many of them did well.

McGraw: Yeah.

Jones: So Dick, let me ask you this. You're here in Wilmington. You've been asked by several people of influence and one elected official to help out. You surely have a handle on the Wilmington scene, which is probably the reason for our history project. One of the fastest growing areas in the country, and certainly, on the east coast. Bringing all kinds of people down here. Many who were retired young like you did, thinking that they're going to have time to play. And they've gotten involved some. Some have not. In spite of the fact that, as one person has said, the infrastructure here does not have smoke stacks. And what that meant was there's no factory or industry here. There's industry, but not that kind. The cost of living is now the highest in the state. Brunswick County is the fastest growing county in the country. So the thought is that before too many years pass, from Jacksonville to Myrtle Beach is going to be another megalopolis like Baltimore, Washington, New York, Philadelphia. People live one way or work another. And there's constant worrying about what's going to happen here. Take a look into your ball and tell us what do you see happening? What would you like to see happening? What do you think is going to happen?

McGraw: Well, what I'd like to see happening and what is probably going to happen are probably quite different.

Jones: That's all right.

McGraw: But if you look all up and down the east coast, I mean, you look start anywhere you want, from Miami straight on up, at any segment. You look Charleston to Savannah or Savannah to Charleston coming north. It's that same megalopolis as from now New York, all the way to Boston, all the way to Washington. And from Charleston to Myrtle Beach is the same way-- getting that way.

Jones: You have to drive a ways up 95 to get here.

McGraw: And Myrtle Beach coming north to Wilmington, I mean, it's just mushrooming. And Wilmington up to Jacksonville to the outer banks is going to be worse, going to be different. Because it is even more remote than Wilmington is. But there are some influences that we cannot ignore. First of all, I think, the population growth along the east and south, as the country gets more populous. And as the x-generation begins to retire, they're going to move south and east. They're going to move south and east. That's where their Urbana is, I think. We're not ready for it. We weren't ready for it. And we're not getting ready for it, in terms of infrastructure.

Jones: This is what I want to hear.

McGraw: Whether it's roads or sewers or whatever it is, we're not ready.

Jones: Do you think it's because it's being ignored? If we ignore it, it'll go away or is it just bad planning?

McGraw: It's just bad planning. I don't think anybody thinks if we ignore it, it'll go away. And you cannot legislate against it. I mean, Wrightsville Beach has done the best job of legislating against it. And they've got, in effect, population controls. You can do that in a small community that has the ocean on one side and the intercoastal waterway on the other.

Jones: Well, for one thing, nobody can afford to buy anything down there right now.

McGraw: That's right. But they're not safe. I read a book 20 years ago. I used to have a beach house up in Bethany Beach, Delaware. And I read a book. I've forgotten who wrote it. It was called The Beaches are Moving. It was a real eye opener, because it is happening. The ocean is constantly eroding the east coast. Philadelphia will be a seaport. The whole Delmarva Peninsula will disappear. And the same thing's going to happen to the outer banks.

Jones: Well, we're looking at it now.

McGraw: Yes, we are.

Jones: We talked about Shell Island and what's happened down there.

McGraw: Yes, exactly. And we keep trying to throw up boardwalks and riprap and sandbags. And whatever the ocean wants the ocean is going to take. You can't stop it. And if the oceans rise as a result of the melting ice cap, polar cap, global warming, I mean, it just exacerbates it. It just makes it worse. I don't see a happy time. I don't see a happy time.

Jones: So what should be done?

McGraw: Move to the mountains.

Jones: That's not going to cure us living here.

McGraw: That's silly. That's silly. Obviously, that's silly.

Jones: Is just put a moratorium on spaces to be built upon?

McGraw: No. You can't do that. It's not going to work.

Jones: I know.

McGraw: People are just going to keep building. They're going to keep investing their money.

Jones: If I had five acres somebody wanted in a prime area, and it gave me a few extra dollars, I would probably think about selling it.

McGraw: Well, probably. Although, if you could double your money putting a spec house on it, you'd probably do that, too. And then, somebody's going to buy it. And as long as you can buy federal flood insurance, it's fine. And as long as the feds continue to allow you to build on the beach and you can buy flood insurance from them, it's stupid. It's not to say that we shouldn't have flood insurance. We should have flood insurance in low lying areas, for areas like the Tennessee Valley area and other areas, there needs to be flood insurance. But I would not insure people who choose to build in what is known as a hurricane alley that floods come in and are going to take the house away. But once you start a program, it's very tough to get rid of another one. Why do we still have the FHA? We don't need the FHA.

Jones: Well, now, wait a minute. There's two FHA's. Federal Housing, it's farm housing.

McGraw: No. I'm talking about Federal Housing, which came into being as a part of the new deal.

Jones: Well, because it was insured. It was a government insured loan.

McGraw: Right. It was a government insured loan.

Jones: And you get a low interest rate with practically nothing down.

McGraw: But now, commercial lenders are doing the same thing. Now, commercial lenders are loaning money.

Jones: Commercial lenders are doing . . .

McGraw: But you can buy Private Mortgage Insurance. There was no such thing as--

Jones: They do, Private Mortgage Insurance for anything less than a 10 percent down. But what's happening in the private sector, is they have these variable interest rate mortgages, due anywhere from three to seven years. And some of them are getting caught right now.

McGraw: Oh, it's a killer. It's a killer. It's a killer. There was no such thing as Private Mortgage Insurance--

Jones: And Fannie Mae would never let that happen.

McGraw: Probably, so. But there was no such thing as Private Mortgage Insurance when the new deal was enacted. Which is when the FHA came into being. But at the beginning of the '70s when PMI, Private Mortgage Insurers, began to surface, the need for an FHA--why should the FHA compete with private industry in selling mortgage insurance? It shouldn't, in my opinion. In my opinion, there's no need for the FHA. But that's not going to go away, either, probably, any more than Federal flood insurance on the oceans. People want to build houses on the oceans, they can do that. But you should not be able to buy Federal flood insurance to justify your risk or to share the risk, in my opinion.

Jones: Well, knowing this, and it's been publicized, and you can't pick up the paper any day of the week and not find it. Well, of course, this paper finds things that need to be taken care of all the time. I'm wondering what causes more and more people moving in here? Is it the overall quality of life? The fact that they can go play golf at any one of a number of golf courses, eat out every night of the week for a year and a half and not hit the same place. Of course, half of those are fast food joints. They've got theatre. They have, what else? They have all kinds of museums of sorts, and they're growing. There's enough groups to keep any woman happy, if she so desires.

McGraw: I think people will continue to come to Wilmington and southeastern North Carolina for the same reasons that I came 15 years ago, and others before me. The quality of life here is ideal. The weather is moderate. Yes, there's hurricanes occasionally. But the cultural activities here, the weather, the people. I just don't see people not coming here. I mean, there's no reason for them to stop coming here. I think, as I was when I came here, newcomers are unaware of the shortage of infrastructure. They discover it when they're here for a while, and you know, all of a sudden, there's--holy smokes, there's a traffic jam. Well, there never used to be traffic jams. No. And 15 years ago, Military Cutoff was a little two-lane road and was no problem. Now, it's a mess. But with growth comes--those are growth problems. And no community that I know of rarely has the foresight to look ahead. Look at Brunswick County. We know what the population's expected to be in Brunswick County, in the year 2010. But is Brunswick County, now laying out six-lane highways in preparation for that? No. And I suspect the reason is, let's wait until we need it. We don't have the money. We'd have to raise the money to do it. And the other reason is if we do it too quickly, we'll just invite the growth too soon. If we build the roads in anticipation of the growth coming, they're going to come anyway. I mean, they're going to come sooner. So let's wait until we need it and suffer through the inconvenience of congestion, which is what we have. We have sewer congestion. We have road congestion. We have all sorts of congestion.

Jones: How about the government here? There's been talk for as long as I can remember about, I guess, there are a couple of words for it. But let's say, co joining City Council and your County Commissioners, and doing away with one or the other, if they have, you know, division. Do you know what I'm talking about?

McGraw: I do.

Jones: This County is a small county. The population now is 106,000 and 90 plus is the city. The city is almost the county. And for the benefits for the quality of life, well, there's the schools, trash pickup, et cetera, et cetera. It seems reasonable. And yet, I hear people say, "No, no, no."

McGraw: I don't think we need two governmental bodies for such a small geographic or population area. I would like to see them merged into a single governmental entity. I think. I mean, I haven't studied it a whole lot. But I think that's what ought to happen. There is a small part of the county that has not been incorporated into the city. The city has the authority, obviously, to incorporate all of it if they want to.

Jones: Well, every time they vote on it, though.

McGraw: Well, I know. But they can annex anything they want to. Sure. Without voter approval. I think that's wrong, but they can. I think there needs to be one--and I think they're trying to do it piecemeal. First, with water and sewer and with some other things, piecemeal. And, maybe, they'll get there. I don't know. But I think it's a terrible waste of time and money to have two separate entities. And elect 12 people when 6 is enough for this small entity. Plus, with two separate bodies, all they do is they compete. They compete for tax revenues. They're not as coordinating as they ought to be. You get approval for one and then, you've got to go to the other and get approval for another one. For something that ought to be a single unit. I think they ought to be combined, merged.

Jones: Okay. What else do you think should be done, could be done, as well as should be done? Let's say reasonably could be done.

McGraw: I don't know--

Jones: From education to entertainment.

McGraw: I was just going to say, I've got two granddaughters that are here.

Jones: In elementary school?

McGraw: Yes. One seventh grade and one going into ninth grade next year.

Jones: Do you mind my asking where they go to school?

McGraw: No. They're both in Saint Mary's or--

Jones: Saint Marks?

McGraw: Saint Marks. Thank you. Yeah, next year, Saint Marks only goes to the eighth grade.

Jones: Eighth grade. Right. Saint Mary's where ours went.

McGraw: Okay. And the older one wants to go in public schools next year. And I have mixed feelings about that. On the one hand, I know that quality of education in the public schools would not be as good as it would be in a private school. I don't think. Well, if you look at--

Jones: It depends on the school.

McGraw: You're right, of course. And that was a blanket over gross statement.

Jones: I understand. We were there a few years ago.

McGraw: But look at Cape Fear Academy, 100 percent go to college. 100 percent of the graduates go to college. One hundred percent.

Jones: I know.

McGraw: Versus pick your public high school, less than 60 percent graduate from high school.

Jones: Hoggard High School is considered the premier high school here.

McGraw: I was taking the average.

Jones: And it is.

McGraw: On the other hand, public school, for you and I probably--I did, I know. My wife and I did, a small town has its own education quite apart from the quality of instruction, the quality of teachers. It has its own educational benefits, in terms of social interaction, in terms of exposure to the world, in terms of exposure to different people, different cultural things, different activities. The wealth of activities that many private schools do not have. Private schools are more like an enclave. And I'm not necessarily in favor of that. I like the quality of instruction, typically. Typically, it's better. I won't say blanket that it is, but typically, it is. Well, you know, it's their decision, my son's and his wife's decision to make, not Granddaddy's decision to make. And they haven't asked for my advice, so I don't give it to them. Nobody wants your advice unless they ask you for it. And even then, they're just being courteous sometimes. So, you know, I don't know how I really feel about it. I see the benefits of both. But education in New Hanover County and Brunswick County and Pender County is bad. Public education needs a lot of work. And the answer is not throwing more money at teachers.

Jones: I will tell you this--

McGraw: In my opinion.

Jones: And I'm sure your son knows this. But a couple of the high schools do offer schools within their high schools for those who are qualified, as far as their grades are concerned. New Hanover has. And if you're accepted into . . . you'd have a harder schedule, no doubt. But you're learning more. And they bring you along to give you as much as your mind will take. And every kid that goes through that program gets into a good college. Hoggard High School has the same thing through the advanced scholars. And if you do your homework, you're getting the teachers who are thrilled to death to have students. The problem is that I think we're having such a problem with beginning in lower grades with, again, busing rearing its head. And these magnet schools are supposed to be a Band-Aid. That you can't teach anymore. You just can't teach. You're keeping kids from having fights, and you're keeping kids from doing so many things that just--

McGraw: Whose fault is that?

Jones: You know what, you can say it's the parents fault. And it is. It begins with the parents. But unfortunately, in many of these schools, so many of the kids come from groups, areas, where there's no male home. Or there's drugs rampant or whatever they're on their own too much.

McGraw: I think it's a societal change, as well . . .

Jones: And teachers cannot teach. They absolutely cannot teach.

McGraw: I understand that.

Jones: So, you know, and yet, what can we do about it? I don't know that you and I can do anything about it, except for one thing. Get involved in a mentor program. Go into the grade schools. Bring show and tells that are meaningful, not stupid. But talk about events in history. I think their minds will sop it up. But we don't do that because we're not asked to. Because the teachers are too busy with paperwork to satisfy the local government.

McGraw: I don't know what the answer is. I think part of the issue is societal in nature. It's cultural in nature. And we can look back at when we went to school, when I went to school, the teachers ruled.

Jones: Yes, they did.

McGraw: And if I got disciplined at school--

Jones: Your mother believed it.

McGraw: And the discipline, as often as not, was a paddle on my behind. Which today is a litigational event, probably. When I got home, I got another one. The teacher was absolutely always right. No questions about it. And if I got spanked at school, you can believe me, I got another one when I got home. And my sister was the same way. I mean, but there was a difference in behavior, in focus.

Jones: Well, I think, some think the teachers reign supreme. They knew it, and they could go ahead and discipline anybody for any small infraction, too.

McGraw: Yeah, and I'm sure that, you know, that was the extreme. I mean, there were extremes in both ways, of course. But I see just as a focus on what is taught has changed. I mean, I mentioned to you earlier about teaching juniors and seniors here and being discouraged--

Jones: By, "here," you're talking about UNCW?

McGraw: Here at UNCW, and is teaching communications majors and being discouraged at finding so many papers written that had grammatical errors that should've been corrected by an eighth grade student. But it's the focus of what's taught. I don't know that that's taught anymore. I don't know that grammar is taught as much as it ought to be. Just as penmanship used to be taught, it's not taught anymore.

Jones: It's all computer.

McGraw: My dad, my father, I mean, his penmanship--I mean, it was flowing. You look at the--it was beautiful. It was just beautiful.

Jones: Because they would practice it.

McGraw: We had typewriters when I went to school, and my writing's terrible. But I can type pretty fast. Now, it's the same thing. But, you know, it's--

Jones: Well, I'm not sure what they're teaching in English class or creative writing anymore. But I do know, and I'm sure you probably are aware, an expression, there used to be some manuals for people who were going to journalism class. The Chicago Manual of Writing, the New York Times Manual of Writing, et cetera. I don't think they use those anymore. You no longer do the type of reporting. That was reporting. You no longer use a lot of commas or periods. You just state your statement and it doesn't matter grammatically that we were taught that would be correct. So in these classes in these colleges and universities, this is what some of them get the new style of writing. Their required style of writing.

McGraw: Oh, I know. You simply have to watch the news people on TV to learn that the grammar that is becoming acceptable was not acceptable when we went to school. Not acceptable at all.

Jones: Does that make you feel old?

McGraw: No. It doesn't make me feel old. It makes me feel disappointed that there's no focus on grammar. And, you know. You know, on the one hand, I say, "Well, you know, the English language is a growing language. And words that are in use in vogue today were not when I grew up. And that's fine. And we--

Jones: But that's always happened.

McGraw: It's always growing. The language always changes. But I don't know that-- maybe, I'm foolish, but I don't know that grammar needs to change.

Jones: Here's another thing about the Wilmington area I'm sure you are aware of. I don't know how involved you and your wife might be in the Arts. By the Arts, I mean, the total thing, music, artists, art canvas, pottery, basket weaving, the movies, et cetera. Even other areas that the museums are now, photography for example. But this has become quite a Mecca, as you probably know, for artists from all over the country to come to this area.

McGraw: In many different avenues of art, yes.

Jones: In very many different avenues. And I have interviewed quite a number of them. And I always say, "Why?" We have a lot of writers here, authors. Some have been successful, wildly so. Others, not really. And they're all saying, "The community accepts us," and can nurture their thought process. And I had a man on the telephone tell me the other day--I'd never heard of him before he called. And among other things, he says, "Well, I do drawings. I write. I mean, I do painting along with my poetry. And every once in a while when it's a good day, he said, "I go downtown instead of my work." And he said, "And people come along and buy it. And I don't know whether they're tourists or whether they live here." So does this sort of thing, do you think, have a bearing on the quality of life here or the kind of way we live?

McGraw: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. I was downtown the other day. And there were three artists right on River walk with their easels and paints and painting something across the river. One of the things that fascinates me about this area is its Scottish heritage. Southeastern North Carolina has a very long and rich Scottish heritage.

Jones: They were Scots-Irish.

McGraw: Dating back to 1745--

Jones: (inaudible) Plantation.

McGraw: Well, and even 1745, when the clearances took place in the highlands, right after Bonnie Prince Charlie got run out of Scotland. And Flora MacDonald came in through here and went up to--

Jones: Pennsylvania.

McGraw: No- no. No. But she's--

Jones: Came in where?

McGraw: Came in through Cape Fear. Flora MacDonald came in through the Cape Fear River and went up to Laurinburg.

Jones: Now, this I don't know.

McGraw: Went up to Laurinburg and there's a--gosh, the Scottish immigrants that came in through this area and wound up on Scotland County and in Laurinburg and Laurinburg area has--I would never have believed that this area had such a huge Scottish influence. And if you go look at Morris Creek, the Battlefield, which is a Revolutionary War Battlefield. You know, there were Scots on both sides. The loyalists as well as the militia in kilts.

Jones: Yeah, well, so many of them, also, came over. They didn't like the coastal towns of, like, Boston, New York area. Because there were clans, and these clans lived together, and they farmed. They went to Pennsylvania, worked their way down, Appalachia. Many of them settled in what is now Tennessee. Of course, at that time, it was no demarcation. Came over the mountains because, maybe, they had a musket. And they came over to fight, because they were paid money to fight if they had a musket. And so in this God forsaken--and this was a barren area. There was nothing here at the time. So it's interesting. But it's kept its flavor.

McGraw: It has kept its flavor. I belong to a bagpipe band.

Jones: Oh, do you?

McGraw: Yes. And, you know, we're amazed at how many Scots come out. I mean, a very rich Scottish heritage all throughout here.

Jones: All right. Tell us about your bagpipe band. Do you play at certain events, funerals, whatever?

McGraw: Yes. As a matter of fact, I'm playing at one on Saturday. I'm playing at a funeral service on Saturday. St. Patrick's Day, we played up at Emerald Isle for a parade. And we played at a local club here in town for most of the evening.

Jones: What got you interested in that?

McGraw: I wrote a book about my great grandfather. His name was Ramsey. And in the process of doing research, I ran into a cousin who lives in Nashville, who played with the National Tennessee Pipe Band. And she said, "Did you ever consider playing the bagpipe?" I said, "Well, no. But what a great idea." So I found somebody here to teach me. And that was in . . .

Jones: Here in Wilmington? Okay.

McGraw: And there are now two pipe bands in Wilmington.

Jones: I know one.

McGraw: The police have one, as well. Okay. Then, we have one, the Port City Pipes and Drums. And we started in 1995. And it's a, you know--

Jones: That's 1995? Oh, okay.

McGraw: Yeah, it's a lot of fun. It gives us a lot of pleasure.

Jones: So how long does it take to learn how to--you have to have big lung power?

McGraw: No. You don't have to have big lung power. You've got to have strong lips. You've got to have kissing power.

Jones: Oh, wow. Port Side what, now?

McGraw: Port City Pipes and Drums.

Jones: Port City?

McGraw: Yeah, you've got to grip the mouthpiece with your lips and blow against pressure. And when your lips get tired (makes blowing noise) you're blowing out around your mouthpiece and that doesn't work.

Jones: Do you each wear your family kilt?

McGraw: We have a band tartan. We have a band tartan. But also, most of us have family tartans as well.

Jones: And yours is?

McGraw: Ramsey.

Jones: Ramsey.

McGraw: Uh-huh. Ramsey has about four tartans, and I have two of them as kilts. It's a lot of fun. Not everybody likes--

Jones: Do you practice all the time?

McGraw: Oh, yes. And I practice in the house and the neighbors move. One of the neighbors moved. And they said that wasn't the reason. But, you know, they moved, nonetheless. But not everybody likes the bagpipe. It's a unique . . .

Jones: Have you been to Scotland?

McGraw: Many times. Uh-huh, many times. Love it. Love it. And Ireland, as well.

Jones: Oh, I love Ireland. It is my roots.

McGraw: Uh-huh. I want to go back to one thing that we didn't talk about and I had mentioned earlier. That's Afghanistan.

Jones: I wanted you to bring that up. That's the last thing I was going to ask you to talk about, because it's so now.

McGraw: After I did the NATO meeting, I was--

Jones: When was this?

McGraw: The NATO meeting was 2003. Yes, 2003. And it finished in October of--well, wait a minute. It finished in October 2003; that's right. And I was ready to come back to Wilmington. And I got asked, instead--a guy that I know up there who's a former Secretary of the Army, who was helping Rumsfeld do some stuff in Afghanistan, said, "You need to go to Afghanistan." I said, "Why do I need to go to Afghanistan?" He said, "I'm putting together a small group of senior advisors called the Afghanistan Reconstruction Group. And your job is to be the senior group of advisors with private industry experience to the Ambassador. Help the Ambassador get Afghanistan reconstructed. Because the only thing he has is a state department USA ID, Agency for International Development. And they don't know beans about rebuilding a country. They know how to hand out money and don't know anything about rebuilding a country." The Ambassador to Afghanistan was Zalmay Halizad, who was a native born Afghan, but an American citizen. Went to high school in Afghanistan, moved to this country and got his PhD at Pepperdine, I think. Brilliant, brilliant guy. And I think the world of him. So there were seven of us that went to Afghanistan and lived at the Embassy as senior advisors to the Ambassador.

Jones: And this is what year, 2003?

McGraw: 2004. I went over there in 2004. Excuse me, 2003, came back in June 2004, seven months. December 2003. And what a remarkable experience. If you picture Afghanistan, let's assume that the Civil War and this country were limited to North and South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee and Virginia, and lasted for 25 years. What do you think it would look like?

Jones: Well, I read Michner's Caravans, which did a pretty good description. And somebody told me it hasn't changed.

McGraw: It would be nothing. It would be absolutely nothing. There's no roads, no electricity, no water, no nothing. People have zip. In spite of that they are hospitable, welcoming, friendly and tired.

Jones: I imagine.

McGraw: Gone through a Russian occupation, Taliban occupation, fighting their own warlords. And after 25 years of fighting, they are tired. Which is why, except for the areas where the Taliban are still very strong, you don't see the objections in Afghanistan that you do in Iraq. Even though Iraq has very much the same kind of structure. Afghanistan was not a nation until the Brits drew a line on the map and said, "Let's call this Afghanistan." What was it, 1917, 1913? 1913, I think. Well, it was never a country. It was a group of tribes. Pashtoons, Tajiks, Uzbeks, I don't know them all.

Jones: They were wanderers.

McGraw: No. Some were wanderers. Most of them had tribal areas. The Uzbeks were near to Uzbekistan. The Tajiks were nearer to Tajikistan.

Jones: They never stayed in any one place.

McGraw: Those did, yeah. The Pashtoons were in Southeastern Afghanistan, Southwestern Pakistan. And they had an area that was called Waziristan. But it's all Pashtoons. And there are other tribes, as well. And to try to amalgamate them into a nation with the British tried to do it in 1913 was foolish on the one hand. On the other hand, it was part of national geo politics. Okay. Iraq, on the other hand, while it has three primary separations, between the Sunnis the Shiites and the Kurds, could easily be divided into three countries. But the oil is all with the Kurds. The oil is all in the north. And they're not going to agree to that unless there's some way to share the revenue from the oil. But they haven't been fighting, because they've been oppressed for 25 years. And I think, probably, what we're seeing now is freedom from the oppression of Saddam Hussein and a lot of infighting that did not exist before. Because he crushed it. Now, without that fist crushing, the fights between the Sunnis and the Shiites, particularly, there is that war that's been going on for centuries. Centuries. That was never the case in Afghanistan. They're different. Afghans do not commit suicide. There are no suicide bombers in Afghanistan that are Afghans. They all come from Syria or from Iraq. There are no Afghans. They just don't do it. They don't believe in it. They think it's against the Koran. They're good Muslims, as well as the people in Iraq. I love the people of Afghanistan. They've had a hard life. Gosh, they're good people. They're friendly. They need help. I wish we were doing more. I wish we had spent as much money to rebuild Afghanistan as we have in Iraq. We'd have a much stronger presence in the Middle East and, excuse me, into Southwest Asia. Afghanistan would be a stronger country. I think, President Karzi is doing the best that he can. I think he is the perfect president for the time. He is a consensus taking kind of president. He's not a Truman or an Eisenhower. He's a consensus taker. And he has to be, given the nature of the country. It's a country made up of warlords. He's got a cabinet, in which he has supported warlords who fought each other all the time before. And so he's--

Jones: Is it possible, Dick, to do this when you--

McGraw: I think so. I think so. He's got to mediate between and among the warlords. And he's got to reach a consensus among them. And he is doing it. And it's difficult, but he is doing it. And it's difficult, but he is doing it. And he's doing it well. What you see are Taliban resurgents sponsored mostly by the terrorists in Southwestern Pakistan pushing across the border. Because the Taliban want back in power. They are the extremists. The extreme right, if you will, Muslims. Extreme right. I mean, that women shouldn't be allowed out of the house. I mean, it's really, literally, shouldn't be allowed out of the house. Unless, it's with their husband or brother. And cover up everything except the eyes when they are out of the house.

Jones: What was your specific job in Afghanistan?

McGraw: The six of us were advising the Ambassador on reconstruction of facilities and infrastructure. Mostly, infrastructure. And part of my advising was rebuilding public communications, radio, television, newspapers. Although, only the people around Kabul can read. Yeah, the illiteracy rate is probably 90 percent, at least, among women. Among men, it's probably 70 percent. Radio is virtually the only way of communicating throughout the country. And there's a great ridge of the Hindu Kush Mountains from the Himalayas that run right down through the northeast or southwest of the country. Which, effectively, divides the country from any infrastructure. It's tough to get radio signals across the Hindu Kush Mountains. And you can't run pipelines, water lines or oil lines over the mountains. Roads over the mountains are impossible, which is why the only roads go, you know, around the country. Yeah, but most of the population is also southeast.

Jones: They have inbred in them for centuries a way of life. How long is it going to take, or do they expect to? They have a core group in Kabul, who will, then, open up communications with other countries and other ways of life.

McGraw: And commerce. But they, also, have a strong history of commerce.

Jones: What do we do with the commerce? Okay.

McGraw: They have a strong history of commerce.

Jones: That's trading, isn't it?

McGraw: Yes. But the old Silk Road ran from Persia all the way to China right through Afghanistan. So there is a strong history of commerce. And they're an industrious and commercially oriented people. Although, it's a small industry, there's never been a large industry in Afghanistan. Never. It's always been small industry. But now, Coca-Cola has moved in.

Jones: Really? Oh gosh. (laughs)

McGraw: Set up a bottling plant. One of the first. Including bottled water. Because the water is not safe, unless it's bottled water. So they sell bottled water. And probably more bottled water than Coke or Pepsi, but they sell bottled water. And other industries are moving in. They have an airline. I wouldn't fly on it, but there is an airline.

Jones: So does the United States keep a group of advisors over there?

McGraw: Yes. The Embassy sponsors a group of advisors there. It's not the same as it was. And the responsibility for that has really gone back to the USA ID, which has an abysmal record of nation building. Just an abysmal record. It's not good.

Jones: You've had an interesting life. Have you enjoyed it?

McGraw: Every minute of it. It's--

Jones: You sound like it.

McGraw: Oh, I've been so fortunate. I had a very interesting life every step of the way.

Jones: And your wife has stuck with you?

McGraw: Bless her heart, yes. I can thank her for that as well. But yes, we've had a great time.

Jones: I hope you're good to her.

McGraw: I try to be. I hope she would say the same.

Jones: What have you got on tap for now? Anything, at all? Planning on any projects here or anywhere? You're not a person who's going to stand still.

McGraw: No, no, no, no. I've been looking at some things. I don't know. I was on the hospital Board of Trustees with a three-year appointment and only got to serve three months. I've thought about looking at the possibility of getting reappointed. That's a political appointment. I don't know if I could, under the same people.

Jones: You know Gayle Van Velsor?

McGraw: Yes, I know Gayle. Gayle and I were on at the same time.

Jones: And she was Chairman, and Rick Dawson.

McGraw: Yeah, we were on at the same time. And she's in her second three-year appointment, I believe.

Jones: She's got a very good job. She's good for it.

McGraw: Well, she is quite good, yes. Also, working with a few friends in town on the Kitty Hawk. We'll see how that comes, if it does.

Jones: Kitty Hawk and a couple of other things they've been offered; right? Uh-huh. That would be an interesting project, no matter what they do with it. I know more people in town are talking more positively about that. But we'll see.

McGraw: We'll see, yeah.

Jones: And you're still playing golf. You play the bagpipes. And you play with your grandkids. Terrific.

McGraw: Yeah, and they're into horseback riding. So I go to horse shows on the weekends.

Jones: You're a good--you know, I think I told you this at one time. I think you've got the enviable situation. When you get tired of the grandkids, you can tell them to go home. We have not had that pleasure. We raised one. But we raised one that became the darling of her Papa's eyes, you know.

McGraw: Oh, really?

Jones: Because he was gone so much of the time traveling, you know, whatever, when the other hellions came along. It's been fun. It's been educational, very informative talking to you. I've got to go do an abstract once you leave. I'm not sure how I'm going to do this. I think I'm going to say--

McGraw: Well, we talked about--

Jones: Just listen to it.

McGraw: We talked more about me and my personal history than much of anything else. And I don't know who that would be of interest to, necessarily, other than my family. But--

Jones: You'd be surprised. This is what we want.

McGraw: The four years in the Pentagon were absolutely fascinating. And I've thought about writing it up in some fashion. But it was absolutely fascinating. Absolutely fascinating. The seven months in Afghanistan, the reacquaintance with Rumsfeld, whom I think is--you know, Rumsfeld ran for president in 1981, 1980. I have a Lucite paperweight with a black horse in the center of it. Because he was a dark horse candidate. He could not raise money. He's too honest. He could not raise money. He fell out of the campaign pretty quickly. I think he would've been a great president for the reasons you mentioned earlier. He cares less about what people think about him than doing the right thing. He is the most ethical honest person I have ever met or anyone could ever meet anywhere. I promise you that. It's incredible. I'll give you one example, just to tout Rumsfeld's horn again. You know, it used to be illegal for government employees to use a copier to copy their tax return or anything personal like that. Well, finally, the government got smart and said, "Okay. You can do that. Just not to excess. You can't run a business out of your office, but, you know, you can do personal stuff." Rumsfeld still thinks that's wrong. And while he would allow you to do it, he would not allow it to be done on behalf of himself. Nor would he allow the NCO, the Sergeant who sits outside of his office, to go down to the concourse at the Pentagon and buy him, Rumsfeld, a pair of shoelaces, if his shoelace broke. Because that's using his personal time. So what Rumsfeld does is every year, knowing that people are going to do that on his behalf, not on his behest, he writes a check to the Federal Government for $1,000 to pay for that. Knowing folks are going to do that when he didn't ask them to.

Jones: That is most unusual.

McGraw: There is nobody that I know that is as ethical or as honest as Don Rumsfeld. I mean, and he calls, he does what he does because he thinks it's the right thing to do. I mean, he is extremely precise in his wording. You do not want to be in a meeting with him. I have been in meetings with him, and he challenges you. He challenges and challenges and challenges. And people take the challenging as he doesn't like me or he doesn't like what I'm saying. That's not quite true. He challenges you to be precise, to be very precise. If you say, "Well, they say"--"Who is they?" You know, the White House said. "Baloney," He says, "The building doesn't talk. Who in the White House said what?" Okay. He's extremely precise. And you pick that up when he's talking to the press. Because he picks them apart. He picks them apart and calls them stupid for saying stupid things and raising stupid questions.

Jones: I'm glad to hear these things. I suspected as much. But, you know, you just don't know. I don't know how much we can take from the press, anyway. That's a whole other subject.

McGraw: Yes, it is.

Jones: It's a whole other subject.

McGraw: It is.

Jones: Anyway, I'm so glad you came to be part of this. We may call on you again.

McGraw: That's fine.

Jones: And I'm sure that most of our candidates who look at these things and read these things are professors doing research, authors, historians, students, you name it. So we've got a wide spectrum. And I think that they'll find you very interesting. And I'm very glad you said yes.

McGraw: Thank you for inviting me. I'm happy to do it.

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